November 1st has rolled around in Ireland and weather-wise it’s right on season: wet, windy and grey. Some of the trees are already stripped of leaves, while others are hanging on to their cover.
On my drive to the woods there is a section on the last elbow of road that has a complete avenue of native, mature deciduous trees. Their branches create a canopy over my car as I pass under them. During the summer it’s a glowing green roof, and during the autumn it’s a russet net that shakes shining, wet gold leaves upon the path. It’s like goldfish drifting down to swim in the road flooded with their brethren.
It’s the start of NaNoWriMo today, and so far I’m keeping up with what I have to do. Of course, it’s just day one so I’m hardly doing loop-de-loops.
Today Chuck Wendig wrote a piece on the Dos and Don’ts of NaNoWriMo, which is humorous and offers pertinent pieces of advice.
My only codicil is upon Chuck’s emphasis on writing being hard, and his issues with the excitement that NaNoWriMo tries to engender in its participants. This is a common point writers try to make, the idea that we must sweat bullets in order to write well. I can hardly gainsay that as writing is – no kidding – the hardest career I’ve ever pursued.
Yet, I think it’s a disservice to emphasis writing’s difficulties. If anything I think we need to remind people that writing at its best is an amazing experience. Sure, we all have the days when writing is a slog, but we should endeavour to remember that it’s brilliantly exhilarating too.
I often have moments when part of my brain is saying “Wow, I’m just making shit up”, and it’s fantastic.
I might have to re-write the hell out of it anyway, but loving the writing is what keeps us going during the hard, difficult sessions.
Love the writing!
Otherwise, why bother?